.

Red Light Cameras Soon Will Be Going Live in River Forest

Cameras, posted at Harlem and Lake and Harlem and North, catch lead foots going through red lights and rolling turns.

Lights, camera, ticket.

Cameras identifying drivers who do not stop at stop lights at two of River Forest's busiest intersections will be going live in a matter of weeks.

Trustees approved red-light cameras in October 2011, but were required to get approval from the state, because they will be installed on Illinois routes.

The cameras have been posted at the intersections of Harlem and North avenues and Harlem and Lake Street for nearly a month. When they officially go live and begin to record infractions, locations will be posted on the River Forest website, said Michael Braiman, River Forest's assistant village manager.

The devices will take a picture of the license plate of the car getting the citation and a video of the infraction. Whether the driver runs a red light, or fails to stop at a red light before turning right, they'll get a ticket. Drivers will get the citation in the mail, which includes a link to a website where they can watch the violation itself, said Police Chief Greg Weiss.

If drivers want to contest the citation, they can go to an administrative adjudication hearing, where a judge will review the video and determine if it is an infraction, Weiss said.

The fine for running a read or turning right without stopping is set at $100, with the village getting $60 of that, Braiman said. There is no estimate of how much money the village will get this year from the citations. He said the village wasn't anticipating budgeting any money in 2014 for it.

Trustees threw their support behind red light cameras, saying the devices will be a boon to traffic safety. Together, the intersections targeted for cameras saw 93 crashes from 2006 to 2010. In 2009 and 2010 there were 65 accidents with more than $1,500 in damages reported at both intersections. Weiss has said the cameras would keep officers from making potentially dangerous traffic stops for red light infractions on those busy roads.

The devices are owned and maintained by Safe Speed Inc., a Chicago-based firm that operates cameras in several Chicagoland suburbs, including Berwyn, Melrose Park and Hillside. Village officials have said the company was chosen because they offered, "much more authority over the process of who's cited and who isn't."

Weiss, who received a similar citation from Oak Lawn more than a year ago, said it wasn't a pleasant experience. However, he said he understood the process after watching the video.

"I know what it's like." Weiss said. "I paid the ticket without arguing it once I saw the video."

Officials noted that the citation does not go against a person's driving record.

The controversial measure was proposed four years ago, but tabled when the village could not come to terms with the initial technology provider RedSpeed, Oak Leaves reported.

Trustees vying to become River Forest's next village president are on opposing sides of the issue. Mike Gibbs has backed the measure. Catherine Adduci recused herself from discussion because her husband, Al Ronan, was a chief lobbyist for RedSpeed Camera. Oak Leaves reported that she would not have voted for it.

Jim January 11, 2013 at 06:38 PM
The videos the Industry puts on TV show us that most of the crashes occur after the signal has been red for 5 or more seconds. This real late running occurs because the motorist (a visitor or distracted/impaired local) completely misses seeing the signal, because it isn't prominent enough. Here's how to make a signal more prominent. Cheaply and quickly. A. Paint "signal ahead" on the pavement. A study sponsored by Florida's DOT found that doing so could cut running by up to 74%. B. Make the signal lights bigger in diameter or, add another signal head. A study by the Texas Transp. Institute (TTI) found that doing either one could cut crashes by 47%. C. Add backboards to the signal heads. The TTI study found that doing so could cut crashes by 32%. D. For nighttime driving, install brighter bulbs in the street lights and put up lighted name signs for the cross street. These things should be tried at a city's ten worst intersections before there is any consideration of putting in red light cameras.
John January 21, 2013 at 05:38 AM
Red Light Cameras are the last resort for intersection safety. These two intersections are tricky, and this has to do with the traffic engineering in place at them, which has much room for improvement. There are better options for improving the safety of the intersections, some of which Jim above mentioned. The timing of the lights can also be changed to drastically improve the safety of the intersections. Extending the duration of the yellow will reduce red light running dramatically. In fact, Missouri did just that recently, adding 1 second to the length of all yellow lights based on federal studies. A local news channel reported that after increasing the length of the yellow light, monthly citations dropped from 700+ tickets to less than 20 ticket. That's amazing and simple to do. In the end I won’t be shopping in River Forest anymore, which is too bad for local businesses. I don’t feel safe around photo enforcement as it makes other drivers unpredictable, and I feel towns that use photo enforcement don’t use proper traffic engineering, thus causing their roads to be more dangerous.
John January 21, 2013 at 05:40 AM
Red Light Cameras are the last resort for intersection safety. These two intersections are tricky, and this has to do with the traffic engineering in place at them, which has much room for improvement. There are better options for improving the safety of the intersections, some of which Jim above mentioned. The timing of the lights can also be changed to drastically improve the safety of the intersections. Extending the duration of the yellow will reduce red light running dramatically. In fact, Missouri did just that recently, adding 1 second to the length of all yellow lights based on federal studies. A local news channel reported that after increasing the length of the yellow light, monthly citations dropped from 700+ tickets to less than 20 ticket. That's amazing and simple to do. Here's a link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMShFqt7UaM In the end I won’t be shopping in River Forest anymore, which is too bad for local businesses. I don’t feel safe around photo enforcement as it makes other drivers unpredictable, and I feel towns that use photo enforcement don’t use proper traffic engineering, thus causing their roads to be more dangerous.
Matthew Hendrickson (Editor) January 21, 2013 at 09:00 PM
Thanks for leaving your comments, John, and a link to that video. Interesting.
Connie Wellhoefer July 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
I don't understand how they can send notice of liability when i didn't even recieve picture of violation. This is just month after i had previous violation. When i ask to see the violation there is no date on the camera this honestly doesn't seem fair, I paid both offenses the second without seeing if I committed offense because I don't want suspension on my license for something that I know you cant fight. I call to have them send the picture of my offense after i paid i think i am entitled to that they tell me they can't do that. Are they hiding something? I have perfect driving record I call in to get my license renewed all of sudden not ! but 2 red lights in matter of month. Did someone have same problem as I would like to know. When you don't even send the picture of violation and they claim it was in May but here we are in July and I recieve notice of Liability I recieve first violation and final but noit the picture seems odd and scam.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »